Shamrocks Over 30s take title
Jun 03, 2015 | 11995 views | 0 0 comments | 577 577 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shamrocks Over 30s coach Paddy McCarry paid tribute to his league title-winning team on Sunday after a penalty shootout victory against Dinamo brought the championship to the Rocks for the second time in three years.

"I could not be prouder of this bunch of players and the effort they have put in all year," said McCarry. "They deserved this championship. They have been top class, every single one of them.”

For McCarry and his team, it was a just reward for a remarkable season that delivered 16 wins out of 18 games.

"Our record as a team speaks for itself,” McCarry said. “We played 18, won 16, drew one and lost one. Without a shadow of a doubt, this year is the biggest achievement in my football days as either player or manager."

Had it not been for a world-class save from Sean McMullan in the second half, there could well have been a different outcome. But the scoreless deadlock set up penalties in which the Rocks players proved flawless.

"I have to say this was one of the tightest games I have ever been involved in either as a player or manager,” said McCarry. “Both teams did not want to give an inch and fought tooth and nail for every ball.”

Captain Bingo O'Driscoll led the way with the first penalty and Tayfun Gokmen, Sean Riley, Pablo Graham and Danny Parkin scored each of their efforts while McMullan saved Dinamo's third attempt in what proved to be the decisive moment of the shootout.

"It's very hard for me to pick stars in this final," added Mc Carry. "They were all great but without our keeper Sean we would not have won today. He was fantastic and has been all year.”

"I'd also pick out Keith Buckley at left back,” he added. “In my mind, he is the best left back in the league. Our captain and center half Bingo is a top-class footballer and has a heart of a lion, and he led this team the whole way to the title.”

It was a day of penalty drama for the club, as the reserves advanced to the Saunders Cup final against NY Ukrainians in Williamsburg after a shootout of their own. The reserves fought out a 1-1 draw that was decided by an incredible shootout in which all 11 players on both teams took a penalty.

A competitive first half ended scoreless and it was midfielder Anthony Carrabotta who broke the deadlock after 65 minutes when Daniel Cano laid it on to the right for the midfielder to slot home to the far corner for his second goal of the season.

The Shamrocks controlled the game from there, but a late equalizer from the Ukrainians set up a tense penalty shootout. All 11 players on both teams stepped up and it fell to Michael Kumaresan to win it in sudden death. The details of the final are to be confirmed.

"It was exactly what we deserved," said coach Stevie Doyle. "I felt we controlled the game and all of our players put in a huge effort. We can look forward now to a final and try to win some silverware. We'll train hard this week and prepare the right way."

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